Happy accidents…those things you aren’t intending but turn out to be pretty great.
I was trying to take a selfie of me and B…he was not cooperating and I accidentally took this picture instead. I didn’t find it until later when I was going through the ten selfies I took, you know… to find the perfect one. Instead I found this incredible photo.
This picture has no filters, no adjustments, it was not a mistake…it was a happy accident.
Sometimes when we let ourselves play and make mistakes we can find ourselves in the middle of the happiest accident.
Especially with your writing. Just letting go of all the rules and restrictions…play with your character, let them make mistakes and create happy accidents.
I think if you ask most writers they will tell you that the best scene they ever wrote, the best characters they ever created, the most genius plot twist, the most incredible lines…were the product of a happy accidents.
What have you done “by accident” that turned out to be something fantastic and happy?
Let’s create happy accidents together…come find me on BookMatchmaker.com
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In the writer’s mind it will be instantly seen as procrastination. If I’m taking pictures of baby robins, I’m procrastinating! If I’m not writing, I’m procrastinating, right?
Nope. In fact, I’m in the process of making my writing more meaningful.
If we spend all of our time working and writing word after word, it will be much more of a struggle to find the meaning in any of our words. And eventually a struggle to come up with words to write.
Why? Because we’re writing and we aren’t LIVING. And if we aren’t living how can we make our words and stories meaningful? If I’m writing a scene and decide to write about a full nest of baby birds, I’ll have already experienced it and won’t have to research it or watch it second hand on YouTube. Simple idea, yes, but think about it. Life is constantly inspiration from which to draw. Or perhaps the act of taking pictures of the baby robins will inspire me to work it into a story later…use it as a parable in one of my workshops…or in this blog post to help writers understand that they should take the time to enjoy life and stop being so hard on yourself.
Yes, your butt needs to be in your chair writing, but your mind also needs to be outside enjoying life so it can be ready to get to work the next time. You’ll be energized and more productive. I promise.
Take the time to snap some pictures of those baby robins, you never know when the next time you might have an opportunity to do so. And find a way to make it add meaning to your words and story.
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Twenty years ago the world was introduced to a little boy with round glasses and a scar. I remember seeing him on the shelf for the first time, I thought it was such a cute and wonderful cover…fast forward a couple of years and the third book of the series was just out and with a little nudge from our corporate offices (Borders) to have someone read the books, saying the books were going to be HUGE, I volunteered.
I had a 6 hour flight to Alaska on a family trip. So I purchased my very first Harry Potter book. The truth is I don’t like to read on planes, I’d much rather listen to my music or look out the window. But I thought a children’s book would be a quick read and something I wouldn’t have to pay much attention. I have never been so wrong. By the time we got off the plane in Anchorage I was looking up every Borders location in the area…calling each to find out if they had Harry Potter books 2 & 3….we drove 50 miles to a Waldenbooks in Wasilla, AK. I finished all three books by the time my vacation was over and went back to work. I had to wait 10 months for the fourth book.
There is something special I noticed, I like to call it BEFORE Harry Potter and AFTER Harry Potter, simple but significant. What many may not have first hand knowledge of is the way these books changed readers, to say that it created a new generation of readers is not giving the books enough credit. In my nearly 20 years with Borders nothing can compare to it. Readers didn’t just change, the world of reading changed. Not only were there readers of EVERY age, gender, and background there were fans who came back for more of OTHER books and other authors…they couldn’t get enough of READING. We couldn’t keep up with recommendations for other “like” Harry Potter books. We created bookmarks, endcap displays, and front of store displays.
So when I think about Harry and his impact…he fundamentally changed the world of readers, regardless if you’ve read the books. There will always be a time before the boy who lived and an after.
I am immensely grateful for the after….Happy 20th Harry! And thank you, JK Rowling.
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“You can fix anything but a blank page” was famously said by Nora Roberts, one of today’s most prolific and popular authors. Many writers focus on the “blank page” part (and don’t get me wrong, most writers have trouble filling the blank page, so it’s a great thing to focus on) but what I think is largely ignored is the idea that everything is fixable. Think about that for a second…EVERYTHING IS FIXABLE. Meaning, take the time to edit. Don’t worry too much whether what you’re writing is perfect or even good, because if you take the time to edit, you can fix anything.
It’s a major accomplishment to FINISH a first draft, but remember it’s your first first draft. Fix what needs fixing.
Once the initial idea of the story is on paper you can do anything you want to it. EVERYTHING IS FIXABLE. It’s also where you can add new ideas, new characters, new scenes…all those moments of genius you’re MORE likely to have because the stress of actually filling those blank pages is gone. You’re free to make the story as romantic, suspenseful, scary, or sad as you want.
Take the time to edit, that’s where the magic is…
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Want to work with me? Together we’ll find your genius in the editing process and bring out your magic to fill those blank pages. ❤
No one is watching, no one has to read it if you don’t want. Or if you’re a bit daring, everyone will read it, they will want to read every word and let them all sink in.
Don’t think about the trends, or what’s selling…think instead about the characters you want to write. Think about how they look and how they feel. Who do you see? What are they like? What are they experiencing?
If you could write anything what would it be? What story is your heart longing to tell?
That’s the book I want you to write, because that is the book I want to read from you.
Now here is a blank page, a pen, a notebook. Coffee? Soda?
Let’s get to it.
While I normally don’t post others’ works on my blog, this one was too good to pass up. Welcome to Ash and The Middle Finger Project, I motherfauxing LOVE her!
Yes! Yes! Yes!! Just because you have the time doesn’t mean that you can use all that time AND stay productive! The most valuable lesson I’ve learned in recent years is that I can use my HOURS more productively if I LISTEN to HOW I WORK and follow directions accordingly!! I’ve also found through my clients that you NEED to take time to recoup your energy, whether that’s by taking time off (even if it’s just a day, an afternoon) because once you have rejuvenated you are actually MORE productive. Your well has been filled…and you’re ready to work at your best!
How to Be the Most Productive Motherfauxer in the Room
It’s only when we let go and accept our messy, our flaws, our imperfections, and our different, that we can truly be who we are and find our genius. ❤